CHEMICALS In the LIMELIGHT FOREWORD This second Reconstruction Supplement, following the one which dealt with Textiles, likewise examines the state of affairs in a great Canadian industry as it affects the citizens and workers of this country. To repeat what we said in the earlier Foreword — the Canadian Legion Educational Services series of pamphlets, issued under the general title "Let's Con- sider Jobs", outlines for many different occupations the training required, the nature and conditions of work, the pay and prospects of advancement, etc., for the guidance of those who have a choice to make. Our Reconstruction Supplements attempt to show where the industry as a whole fits in the general economic scheme of things in Canada; for the satis- faction and security one finds in an occupation will depend very largely on whether or not the industry itself is in a healthy condition. Furthermore, it isn't only the worker in a particular industry who needs to consider its resources, organiza- tion, wage structure, etc. As each Reconstruction Sup- plement will show, these things concern every Canadian, because on them depend the prices we pay for its products, as well as the levels of wages and employ- ment that are maintained in related industries. And all August 1945 industries are related! A BIRDS-EYE VIEW 1 We overheard a very well-known scientist say on the radio the other day that while this universe is made up of countless atoms, there are less than a hundred dif- ferent kinds of them. He went on to say that they are combined in nature in a large — but limited — number of different substances. Man has found out how to com- IMPROVING ON bine them in something like two million additional NATURE ways, forming new substances with the qualities we need, from the explosiveness of RDX to the healing ways of sulpha drugs. Nearly all these new substances have been formed for the first time in the last hundred years. Nearly all of them have been created by chemists. These chemists are a very obliging lot. Recently, when we wanted the most devastating of weapons, they gave us the 'jellied gasoline' incendiaries, the block- buster and flame-throwers. But they are more willing to turn their hands to the making of compounds which UNLIMITED keep barnacles off a ship's bottom for six months after VARIETY application, or to the fashioning of milady's sheerest hosiery. In short, they are in search of methods by which the natural materials that come to hand can be applied to our use with ever greater precision and satisfaction. The chemists are the chief cooks in the confection of this host of versatile materials. Following their de- tailed directions are nearly a hundred times their num- ber of other workers. Together these people compose the Chemical Industry. At the height of their work for in WAR the European war, in 1943, the industry in Canada em- ployed about 93,000 people. Nearly half of these were doing jobs directly connected with munitions; they were filling shells, making small arms ammunition, depth charges, smoke floats, pyrotechnic projectiles, and so on. AND PEACE HOW IMPORTANT? But even before the war, about one industrial worker in every thirty in Canada (22,000 out of 642,000) was engaged in the making of chemical prod- ucts. In 1939 these workers accounted for over one- twentieth of all our manufactured goods — #89,000,000 worth, out of a total industrial product worth about #1,500,000,000. The factories they worked in, some eight hundred establishments, and the equipment they worked with, were valued at about one-twentieth the total value of all Canadian industrial plants and manufacturing equip- ment. Plainly this is an industry worth looking into. Its possibilities for progress seem almost boundless; a good many of us may find ourselves working within it, or in closely allied fields; we shall all be buying its wares, from teething-rings to false teeth. It refines the salt of the earth. HOW IT GREW Growth of the Chemical Industry in Canada It is not often we remember — as we glance at this ink and paper, or set our beer down on an alcohol-proof table top, or pull out our pencil to jot down an address, or pick up the phone, or fix our gaze on an instrument panel or the image of a movie star — that we are dealing with things of which the manufacture is largely a chemical process. We are also apt to forget, as we en- counter these everyday objects, that the processes by which we get them were almost unknown in Canada a generation ago. Building transcontinental railroads meant blasting — and lots of it — and so the period of railroad building gave the explosives industry its start in this country. World War I was the occasion for a far greater in- crease in chemical production* By 1918 a great number of plants in Canada were devoted to the production of the 'staples' in the arma- ment maker's shopping-list — still largely bulk explo- sives. Within four years of the end of the last war the annual production of this industry had shrunk to little more than one-fourth the wartime level. In the late DEPRESSION twenties it recovered some ground by converting its facilities to turn out civilian chemicals, like lacquers and cellulose products. The depression did not hit this industry as hard as some, and by 1934 Canadian chemical production was climbing again. Not until this war has its total output returned to the levels of 1917 and 1918. In 1944 the dollar value of output was roughly four times that for 1939. It is therefoie important, in our discussion of the prospects in the chemical industry, to « separate its i^n «# *•» normal peacetime activities from its strictly military contribution. CANADA'S CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN P6AC£ AND WAR 1939 1943 Number of plants ^ "* 94S Capital employed ^$213,000,000 $760,000,000 Number of employees -X 28,000 92,000 Salaries and wages $ $38,000,000 $146,000,000 Net Value of product $104,000,000 $379,000,000 QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION How do you distinguish chemical products from others? Try out your definition on the following examples: rubber, aluminum, gasoline, table salt, baking soda, beer, cement, corn syrup, cheese. Is a wartime chemical plant harder or easier to convert for peace- time production than a small arms factory, an aircraft factory, a tank- building plant? What chemical products introduced during the war are likely to have continued use in peacetime? 2 THE INGREDIENTS What do the Chemicals People do? It is not very often that the ordinary man goes into a shop and asks by name for chemicals, in the way that he shops for clothes or food. The work of the chemical industry largely comes to us with other people's trade marks on it. The share of the nylon producer and the dye-maker are not so readily recognized in a pair of stockings as are, for instance, the contributions of the iron and steel industry to the buyer of an automobile. For convenience, then, we shall discuss the industry under three headings: HIDDEN CONTRIBUTION INDUSTRIAL OUTLINE 1. BASIC PRODUCERS OF CHEMICALS The makers of acids, salts, alkalis and com- pressed gases in bulk quantities. 2. CONVERTERS OF CHEMICALS These industries transform the basic ingredi- ents into the substances familiar to us in the show-windows of the druggists, stationery and hardware stores — paints, soaps, inks, plastics, etc. 3. CONSUMERS OF CHEMICALS A host of manufacturers who use large amounts of chemicals to improve products which are mainly animal or vegetable in origin — paper, leather, rubber, fruit, meat, confec- tions and so on. What are Basic Chemicals? At the very core of the whole chemical industry are the plants which produce sulphuric acid, which has been called the 'King of Chemicals'. It has been manu- factured in Canada since 1867. It is basic to the pro- cessing of metals, and the manufacture of plastics, fertilizers, explosives, and high-octane gasoline, among many other materials. In peacetime, this versatile chemical tops the list for tonnage produced; in Canada, since 1939 the output of sulphuric acid has in- creased threefold. Production of this acid is sometimes used as a gauge of industrial development; we may note that from 1923 to 1938 Canadian production rose from 87,000 tons to 268,000, and that in 1943 our production was proportionately at least as high as that of the United States. BASE OF THE INDUSTRY HiAVy CHiMtCALS & C0MPRt$$U> CASES 1939 PLANTS AND CAPITAL 1943 gj MhtJ htbfik 1 rrfTlfc 1 JbMhJ fcfrfri 1 m^j^ p^^X N^sL M*^^. p^fc^l M*#J* fc*Nk 1 ijm LUJi \JmLM LLAmM LLLH LUJi LiXJI tainffr n £62 Miilttin 76 Y T« iHliUQn fiiu million 3800 $6 Million t * ** mnoms, salaries and wages § & § 912S Iff Iff Iff Iff Iff iff iff Iff ff Si? Million f 27 Million GROSS VALUE Of PRODUCT i o 010 i i i 1 i i i i 1 < $88 Million Sulphuric acid was the only basic chemical made in more than one or two plants in Canada before the war; there were three in British Columbia, three in Ontario, and one in Nova Scotia. Three more plants have been built during the war: two in Quebec and one in Ontario. Nitric and hydrochloric acids, liquids ammonia and chlorine, glycerine, alcohol, metallic salts and a long list of complex ingredients for cleansing agents and plastics are the other major items in our heavy chemi- cals output. The basic producers also turn out com- pressed gases, such as acetylene, oxygen and carbon dioxide; these are used for welding, food processing and in many other ways. All these basic chemicals are derived more or less directly from natural resources like coal, metallic ores, oil, limestone, and air. Source- materials of growing importance to chemists — and abundant in Canada — are the products of the field and forest; grains, milk and wood. THE CONVERTING INDUSTRIES What do we mean: Chemical Converting? Very few of us, from one year's end to the other, go out to buy basic chemicals (unless we invest in a storage battery filled with sulphuric acid solution). But we are all familiar with their offspring, the secondary products of the industry. The factories making soap, paint, patent medicines, fertilizer, disinfectants and ammuni- tion use up a great deal of heavy chemicals, as the chart shows. The peacetime plants in this group are likely to be smaller, and to be a little more thickly populated than are the basic producing units. A comparison of the production and employment figures in chemical con- verting with those for the basic group (on page 7) will show that the valuable plants, large payrolls, better wages and more important products are to be found in the former. BIG BUYERS Who are the main Consumers of Chemicals? Aside from those plants which convert bulk chem- icals into goods we can all use, there is another group of industries which we should mention. They are not, properly speaking, chemical industries at all; indeed some of them are worthy of examination in their own right. But they appear at this point because they loom so large as buyers of chemical products. These they em- ploy in the treatment of a great variety of non-chemical products, from morning papers to evening gowns. Some idea of the scale on which these manufacturers buy chemical products may be seen by a glance at their bills for the year 1943. 8 What is it like to work with Chemicals? We are concerned for the moment with the kinds of work available in the chemical industry, rather than with the intricacies of chemistry itself. A typical plant is (to the uninitiated) a jungle of tanks, vats, furnaces, towers and pipes. Under watch- ful eyes, a multitude of thermometers, gauges and other instruments enable the transformation of materials to be controlled. Work in chemicals is broadly divided between work JJPJ^JJ '^ in the laboratories or in the plant. In the labs themselves there is a division of work between the Research Staff and the Control Staff. The research people comprise both research chem- ists and lab technicians. The former are the highly trained Ph.D's or M. Sc's who plan and carry through research projects. The technicians are people with less formal training who do everything from washing ap- paratus to performing simple routine analyses. THE LABS VALUE OF CHEMICALS CONSUMED Sy CHEMICAL CONVERTING PLANTS 1943 Paints, etc. ^tm i i i | i § | o i fertilizers I$fa. i i i i i i i B Medicines, etc. ^^ ooooooo 1 Soaps, etc. £^ i relief Preparations B0 i laeh O equals two million dollars The control staff are concerned with seeing that the finished products are of uniform quality. They do rou- tine analyses on intermediate products as well as of raw materials and finished products. They may be B.Sc's or chemical engineers — with students and technicians under them. In the plant — as distinct from the research staff — there are at the top the executives whose job it is to plan and co-ordinate the different phases of production. Most plant executives have had training in chemical engineering and years of practical experience. Under them come what may be called plant operators, most of whom are also chemical engineers, in charge of some particular stage in the production cycle. All these people require some special skills and knowledge. At the same time the industry uses un- ^kii i Fn ANn UNSKILLED skilled and semi-skilled labour — people who do a wide variety of jobs about the plant, from driving a truck to operating a machine or packaging the finished products. IN THE PLANT moe Of CHEMICALS COHSOMiD (1943) lit: Pulp & Paper Industry £^ o o o g y o m n m B B Textiles JL ™ — n n s n o n o o a Meat Packing & Shortening lif£$ iiiiiii m O I Bread, Biscuits, etc. / ^o 000 i i Leather Coeds Sta iiii *«***' SO y o e fruit & Vegetable KSSi Preparations Each g?| equals one million dollars 10 No. 16 A\Js' Ur EWS= August 18, 1945 SERVICEMEN'S CHOICE TN June the officers of the Department of Veterans Affairs kept score -*■ on what 15,754 service personnel intended to do next, as they put up their discharge buttons. Of course, many veterans soon change their minds; but here, at a glance, is what these fifteen-thousand-odd set out to do: OUT TO FIND A JOB (33%) MMMMMi BACK TO OLD JOB (22.7%) 1 NEW JOB ALREADY (13.4%) VOCATIONAL TRAINING (6.9%) hhf UNIVERSITY (5.3%) OWN OLD BUSINESS (5.3%) ■A^ «"^ EACH SYMBOL- 500 VETERANS fARM UNDER V.LA. (3.5%) OWN OLD fARM (3.5%) UNDECIDED (6.6%) 7?' Replying to your Inquiry... NO LOANS PROVIDED FOR BUSINESS My older brother and I have planned for a number of years to go into business together, starting a small industry in -partnership. He is not a veteran, but he is an experienced technician; I have considerable training in administration and accounting. In such a case could we have financial assistance from the Government in the form of a loarft Would the conditions be similar to those specified for farmers or fishermen? — L/Cpl, rcapc, cao/s. There are just two provisions in the rehabilitation program which apply to a veteran going into business. The first is that he can use his re-establishment credit to pur- chase a business for himself, if he puts up one dollar out of his own pocket for each two dollars drawn from the re-establishment credit; if he already owns a business he can draw his re-establishment credit to use as working capital. The second provision is that while awaiting returns from the business he may draw an allowance of up to $50 a month for a single man, or $70 a month for man and wife, with additional amounts for each child, for a limited period. But before going ahead with the project, he must get the approval of the local advisory committee of business men, which will decide whether he has a reasonable chance of succeeding. The policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to see each and every veteran securely established on his own, his fortunes not tied in with anyone else's. Hence a partnership is not encouraged, even with another veteran. Loans to veterans going into business are not provided by the government. If the proposition appears sound, a local bank may be ready to advance money. For certain types of enterprise, such as "manufacturing, processing or refrigeration of goods, wares or merchandise", the Industrial Development Bank, with head office in Mont- real, may under certain conditions make or guarantee a loan. GRATUITY INSTALMENTS If a private has $450 gratuity due him on his discharge, and his monthly pay and dependents* allowances total $92, would $92 then be the monthly instalment of his gratuity until the $450 is absorbed, or is subsistence allowance added, which would raise the monthly instalment to $129.50? — W/O II, Monteith, Ont. The latter is correct; War Service Gratuity is paid in instalments equal to the amount of pay and allowances for the month before discharge, including subsistence allowance, even though it was not actually received. KNOW YOUR REHAB RIGHTS: REE MEDICAL TREATMENT • CLOTHING ALLOWANCES • REHABILITATION GRANT • REINSTATEMENT IN JOBS RE-ESTABLISHMENT CREDIT • A HOME OUTSIDE TOWN • FARMING OPPORTUNITIES • VOCATIONAL TRAINING UNIVERSITY TRAINING • MAINTENANCE GRANTS How do they work? How do they affect YOUR future ? They are all part of Canada's Rehabilitation Program, designed to help you on the road ahead. Keep informed. Send in your questions to Editor, Civvy Street News, Wartime Information Board, Ottawa* Extra copies off Civvy Street News are available on request. Contents may be reprinted with or without acknowledgment. PART-TIME POULTRY FARM I am a farmer s son but I dorit think my health will he good enough now for full. time farming. I'd like to take a course in -poultry-raising and then get a small holding under the V.L.A. Could I get an allowance while awaiting returns from this undertaking! How much of a grant or loan would be available for buying stock and equipment at first? — Pte, 4 VRD, RCOC, England. One of the main requirements in the case of a veteran applying for a small holding is that he should not depend entirely on what he can produce on his few acres : he should have a job near by, or be receiving a pension or some other regular income. In the case of a pensioner, if any vocational training grants or "awaiting returns*' grants were payable, they would be reduced according to the amount of the pension. Of course, a "small-holder" with a paying job would not qualify for such grants. Under the V.L.A. , up to $1,200 worth of livestock and equipment may be provided with a small holding. NO CARFARE TO COLLEGE I wish to take a course at the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph, fifteen miles from my home. If I live at home with my wife and daughter •, I believe we can manage on the monthly grant. Would it be possible in that case for me to draw the transportation allowance of up to »-$5 a week which is provided for students! — S/Sgt, Petawawa, Ont. If you are going to take a regular university course leading to a degree, you are not eligible for the transportation allowance. This allowance is provided only for students taking vocational or technical courses. CREDITS CONVERTIBLE I want to buy or build a house immediately after my discharge. If I utilise my Re-establishment Credit for this, can I, at a later date, repay the amount I have used out of my Re-establishment Credit and build another place under the Veterans' Land Act? — Capt, No. 1 Cdn Reception Depot, CAO/S. If the Re-establishment Credit has been used wholly or in part and later an application is made for benefits under the Veterans' Land Act, such benefits may be granted, but adjustment must be made to compensate for the credit already received. Of course each case is dealt with individually; before making definite plans you should discuss the whole matter with your counsellor at the discharge centre. REHAB ROUNDUP MORE THAN 230,000 WORKERS HAVE been released from war industries since V-E Day, yet there is an over-all labour shortage at present of 130,000 workers. About half the labour employed in direct war production has already been absorbed in civilian production. Mass meetings of war-workers in Vancouver and Toronto have protested against being laid off while their plants are reconverted for peacetime production. TRANS-CANADA AIRLINES EMPLOYS at present over 500 veterans, a quarter of its entire personnel. TWENTY MONTREAL ORGANIZA- tions have joined forces to help returning veterans find lodgings in the city, and to agitate for more action on the housing problem. Over 400 pre-fabricated dwell- ings, to rent at $22 to $30 a month, will shortly be provided by the city. In Cornwall, Ont., 50 new homes of per- manent construction are to be built by an arrangement between the city and Wartime Housing Ltd., a Crown company. They will be grouped together on the former Fair Grounds, and the first dwellings will be ready for occupation by next January. A two-bedroom house with living-room, kitchen and bath will rent for $22 a month; for a three-bedroom house the rent will be $27.50, and for four bedrooms, $30. Vet- erans will have first choice on all the houses, and only after their needs are fully met will any be rented to non-veterans. 300 VETERANS WERE ENROLLED IN the McGill University summer session. According to the director of courses, the veterans showed keener interest than the regular students. THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO WILL make classrooms, students' living quarters, and extensive engineering laboratories out of the buildings which it has leased at the Ajax shell-filling plant at Pickering, Ont. These will provide accommodation for a large number of veterans who have en- rolled at the university. MARRIED MEMBERS OF THE CWAC, both officers and other ranks, who wish to leave the service for the purpose of estab- lishing homes, will be given the opportu- nity for early discharge, if exigencies of the service permit. VETERANS WHO INTEND TO TAKE university courses should inform their chosen university as early as possible, so that provision can be made for the probable number of students. Many Canadian univer- sities will admit veterans this year not only at the regular registration date, but also each month throughout the term. A MONTREAL FURNITURE STORE manager, three ex-servicemen and several other civilians are being prosecuted for working various rackets at the expense of ex-servicemen, involving the misuse of reestablishment credit. DEMOBILIZATION OF CANADIAN Labour goes on step by step. Of the gov- ernment man-power controls still in force, those which limit a worker's freedom to move from one job to another will be drop- ped in September, except in the case of agriculture. Farm workers will not be free to turn to other employment until about the middle of November, when the harvest is in. After November, the only controls to continue will be those which are essential to maintain an efficient national employ- ment service. A man must get a permit from the Employment Office before taking a new job; he must not quit or be fired without seven days' notice; employers must report all vacancies to the nearest Employment Office, where workers also must register if unemployed over seven days; and anyone leaving Canada to work elsewhere must get a Labour Exit Permit. The job-permit regulation will be dropped as soon as possible; for the present it is useful in the orderly placement of war- workers and veterans. HOW THE INDUSTRY OPERATES 3 We have already seen that many chemicals are turned out in Canada by only one or two or three FEW MAKERS plants. Why is this? To begin with, there is an enor- mous variety of chemical products to be made. Contrast y ™I T ™ this with textiles. The whole textile industry in Canada weaves only two or three curtain fabrics in quantity; among chemical manufacturers one company alone makes five distinct kinds of quick-drying enamel. For some chemicals there are several possible source- materials and processes, depending on where the pro- ducts are in demand. More important in Canada, most of the processes call for expensive and specialized equipment. To be economical, a plant must produce in fairly large quantities. A relatively small market like Canada cannot keep many plants busy turning out identical specialized products. Finally, while the fundamental recipes for most of these substances are well-known to all chemists, the de- crror-rc tails of efficient commercial production — short-cuts WELL-KEPT that make all the difference between a successful chem- ical business and a layout of the Rube Goldberg sort — are closely guarded under the patent laws. It is no secret that chemical know-how in the earlier part of this century was a prize possession of German industry. Many of the tricks of the trade used by Im- perial Chemical Industries in the United Kingdom, by DuPont de Nemours in the United States, and by their jointly controlled Canadian Industries Limited, were first discovered by the technicians of such firms as I. G. Farbenindustrie in Germany. Within the past 20 yeans, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R. have been more than holding their own. 11 What does it mean to the Common Man? The result of this concentration of production in a few companies is that if you want bulk hydrogen peroxide for your own business, there is practically speaking only one place in Canada to get it. "Of course," someone says, "the bulk buyer of chemicals pays through the nose to the sole makers of many of his purchases. But who intends to be a bulk DO WE PAY TOO buyer of chemicals?" Any member of your group MUCH- knows the answer: ultimately we all pay through the nose for those same substances transformed into tooth- brushes and high-test gasoline. So this matter of con- trol of the chemical market merits some discussion. What limits Prices of Chemicals? The owners of many production secrets point out that it is unsound to jump to conclusions about this situation. It doesn't automatically lead to sky-high prices. With some chemicals, the only alternative to a single Canadian producer would be no Canadian pro- PRO AND CON ducer at all: in that case Canadian users of these ma- terials would have to pay shipping charges from other countries. Other materials, while available from a small number of closely related Canadian sources, are actually priced in competition with quite different products which can be made to do many of the same jobs. There are other ways in which some chemical manu- facturers are constrained from playing fast and loose with their prices, if they wanted to. A few of the patents PUBLIC belong to public authorities, because they were discov- RESEARCH ered by public or university laboratories. (Insulin was an example of the latter type). We could broaden the control of valuable technical knowledge by expanding these institutions, about which we'll say more presently. The production of many chemicals, notably in the food and drug fields, is subject to rigid control by health authorities. With notable exception of synthetic vitamin processing, there is freer competition in the pharmaceutical branch of the industry than in most other branches. 12 Also, it should be mentioned that it is the rare manufacturer who is inclined to risk killing his single LONG-TERM goose that lays golden chemical eggs. VIEW A GOOD IDEA Do New Discoveries change the Picture? There is another threat to the secret-process goose besides over-doing it. She may die a natural death, if a better way to turn out the same product, or a way to turn out a better product of the same purpose is dis- covered. The people most likely to make such discov- eries are clearly the people in the chemicals business — the bigger the operator, the more rapidly he is likely to out-distance his rivals. But once in a while a small or independent chemist works out an important improve- ment. There may follow a scramble by the firms af- fected by the new process to out-bid each other for it. If a firm buys a patent process for $5,000, knowing that |y^y ^qj *„ they would have to spend twenty times that much on USED the new plant it requires, it's anyone's guess how soon the general public may receive the benefits of the dis- covery. The reckoning is more financial than technical. Chemicals come in Chains, It's not at all uncommon in production to find that you are producing several by-products as well as the product you want. That is true of a good many pro- cesses in the chemical industry. And it leads to some interesting results. A primary producer may find it profitable to try to control the uses of his primary chemicals, so as to develop along with them economic processes involving his other products. For instance, $HE GREW AND the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co. at Trail, SHE GREW B.C. (a subsidiary of the C.P.R.) had difficulty dis- posing of sulphur dioxide fumes, which were a by- product of their smelting operations. So they set up a sulphuric acid plant. Sulphuric acid in turn, is useful in the making of ammonium sulphate for fertilizer. That created an interesting 'chain'. The railway handles much of the freight to and from that region. It also manages one of the Commonwealth's largest 13 non-ferrous smelters and sells back to the farmers, as a by-product, thousands of tons of fertilizer. Possibly the most impressive chain of chemical plants in Canada are the twenty-five run by Canadian Industries Limited, the ownership of which was pre- viously mentioned. Its divisions give an idea of the range of its activities; they are: General Chemical, Or- ganic Chemical, Ammunition, Explosives, Fertilizer, Salt, Alkali, Paint and Varnish, Plastics, Nylon, "Cello- phane" and "Fabrikpid". In basic chemicals and chem- ical converting it dominates the field. These examples are only given as two of several. It is undoubtedly true that this type of close control over a long chain of processes is of great technical ad- vantage. As to the social problems raised, your group may have varying views* What if the Chain is International? Our subject is chemicals, and not world finance. But this industry — because of the concentration of technical knowledge, the intimate relations between primary pro- A GLANCE AT ducers and chemical converters, the elaborate plant re- quired, and the other factors we have discussed — is characterized by agreements regarding ownership and marketing which are not limited by national boundaries. These arrangements are known as 'cartels'. Through cartels a great deal of job-giving know- ledge enters Canada. On the other hand, they may hold back the logical development of some of the natural wealth of Canada, or the export of Canadian products to other countries. They can be arranged to affect the prices we must pay for an enormous variety of common things. For chemistry enters into almost every kind of manufacturing. It is very difficult to prove that these are (or are not) the results of any particular cartel. It is sometimes difficult to find out if a cartel exists at all. But where such arrangements exist, they are bound to affect our jobs and our living standards to some degree. It is plainly in the public interest that the causes and effects of cartels be made known* The result for 14 CARTELS Canadians of an international ^gentlemen's agreement' on the production and price of a fertilizer is perhaps at least as far-reaching as would be a similar arrangement on the manufacture and sale of beer. Should the pro- neeqeq duction and marketing of essential chemicals also be regulated by public boards? The first need is to deter- mine the facts of the case. How about Research? Because of the extreme importance to Canadian in- dustry — and the chemical business especially — of the intelligence branch of industry with its headquarters in our research laboratories, a whole discussion period could be devoted to that subject alone. That is pre- cisely what CANADIAN AFFAIRS proposes you should do. A regular issue will shortly be devoted to the contributions a Canadian scientific program can make to our prosperity, health, convenience and pleasure. AVERAGE HOURLY BARRINGS 1939 1941 1943 Male 493c. 56.6c, 67.8c. Female 28.9c. 34.3c. 41.9c. average weeniy BARRINGS Mate $22.25 $28.38 $33.42 Female $12.51 $16.40 $19.16 15 HIGH RETURNS 4 MEN, WOMEN AND PAY We may be sure that the possessors of patents have exploited them to advantage. Indeed the leading Cana- dian company in the chemical field has in twenty years multiplied its equipment several times over, and has also paid its shareholders a handsome percentage of their investment. How about the workers in Canadian chemical plants? The best-paid men among them are now in the munition plants, and in the basic chemicals industries. The best-paid women are almost all in the armament end of the business. Except for those groups, no class of chemical workers is up to the average for manu- facturing employees; no group of workers in the peace- time converting industries ranked anywhere in the first forty manufacturing industries, graded by average wage-levels. (The table on page 15 shows the Canadian average hourly and weekly earnings in all chemical and allied industries in 1939, 1941 and 1943.) In 1942 — a peak year — the average annual earnings were: male #1,550; female #1,000, approximately. ANNUAL WAGES How are the Chemical Workers Organized? Many people who work with chemicals are employed by companies whose chief products are not chemicals. They may belong to the unions of paper or food or metal or textile workers. Thus the organizations of chemical workers are not very large, their total mem- bership being perhaps 4,000. The organization of technicians and professional employees in Canada is not so far advanced as it is in the United Kingdom. It would not be true to say that the managements of Cana- dian chemical firms have adopted any single attitude concerning the organization of their workers. Many other industries have a record of struggle on this ques- tion longer and more bitter than that of the chemical worker. 16 # ^ POST-WAR JOB EQUATION 5 We saw that nearly 100,000 Canadians had found employment making chemical and allied products be- fore the climax of the European war. More than 50,000 of those jobs will now dissolve with the defeat of Japan; LAY-OFFS we cannot hope to re-absorb in peacetime chemical plants all those who have worked entirely on munitions, since they entered the industry over the past six years. How many Jobs after the War? On the brighter side, there has been since 1939 * substantial increase — perhaps ten or fifteen thousand — in the number of workers in the other branches of the industry. Will all those jobs remain open? The answer must be guesswork. We have seen that the main markets for chemicals in Canada are in other industries. There is good reason to believe that the more important of these customers for chemicals — the manufacturers of HOPE FOR THE paper, textiles, paints, agricultural supplies — will be FUTURE very active in the reconstruction period. From that be- lief the leaders of the chemical industry predict that they will be able to hold their wartime gains in payrolls other than munition-workers. After a few years the number of workers in normal chemical plants may begin a gradual increase, as commercial uses are found for some of our wartime chemicals and chemical plants. What does this offer the Veteran? It should be recalled that a large number of the workers on munitions are women, many of whom will Published for use as discussion material in the Canadian Armed Forces. Distributed to civilian groups through the Canadian Council of Education for Citizenship. May be reprinted for similar purposes, with or without acknowledgment. 17 FULL EMPLOYMENT NEEDED LOCATION PROBLEMS PROBLEM OF EXPORTS not want further industrial employment. They will want husbands and babies. The manufacturers of chemical goods also believe that the forces will provide them with more capable workers to replace some who were en- gaged when the severest shortages of manpower ob- tained. But it's easy to see that Canada's employment problems aren't going to be solved by simply releasing war workers and hiring veterans in their place. How about Exports? While tons of Canadian chemicals have long been exported in the wares of other manufacturers, the market abroad for Canadian chemicals as such is sub- ject to many drawbacks. Many heavy chemicals pose irksome problems of handling — special tank-cars and containers, for instance. The best place to make chem- icals is determined by the location of: (<?) Source-materials (Jb) Power supply (c) Purchasers Is Canada a World source of Chemicals? Broadly speaking, Canada is adequately provided with mineral and vegetable source materials. But in few instances does she hold a world-commanding posi- tion in chemical resources. We are very well fixed for electric power; but less handsomely endowed with coal, on which large sections of the chemical work of the world is based. Perhaps, aside from transport difficulties, the great- est over-all barrier to larger Canadian exports of chem- icals is the fact that wherever we try to peddle our chemicals abroad, we run into competition with Im- perial Chemicals or Dupont, who jointly own our major producer, or with I.G. Farben, who in peacetime con- trolled the use of the biggest single share of the patents. All in all, it would be very rash to count on sub- stantial gains in the export of Canadian chemicals, un- less and until the United Nations together work out some basis for the distribution and control of chemical 18 PROBLEM goods different from the arrangements employed in the past. We usually imported slightly more chemical goods (by value) than we exported in the years before the war. The chemicals we sold across our boundaries were nearly all embedded in goods of other shapes and bear- ing other names — notably our primary exports, pulp and paper and food. What's the answer? The answer is indefinite — as answers to these ques- tions usually are. All we can offer is an indication of trends — of what is likely to happen if something else doesn't happen. That doesn't mean the picture is a dark one. The future in chemicals, like the future of other industries, is bound up in the problem of full employment in Canada as a whole — and that in turn depends to a con- A WORLD-WIDE siderable extent on the breaking down of barriers to world trade and the maintenance of world peace. It is against that kind of background that Canada's chemical industry has to be studied. QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION In the past twenty years whai has happened to the prices of chemical products familiar to you? (e.g. fertilizers, soap, medicines.) Who benefits and who loses through cartel arrangements? Do you think there are opportunities for small independent operators in the field of chemicals? Why, or why not? What are Canada's principal assets as a producer of chemicals? Should chemical workers — unskilled, technical, professional — belong to a trade union? 19 CANADIAN AFFAIRS Reconstruction Supplements are intended for those in the Services who want to discuss realistically the Canada in which they will work after the war. The Supplements are prepared hy the Wartime Informa- tion Board and will appear fortnightly, alternating with the regular issue of CANADIAN AFFAIRS. * DESIGNED BY THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD * OTTAWA: BDMOND CLOUTIER, PRINTER TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAJBSTY PRINTED IN CANADA, 1945.